If you never surf the Web while watching TV, you are distinctly in the minority.
That’s according to new study conducted by Nielsen on behalf of Yahoo, which found that three out of four Americans use the Web and TV simultaneously, and half do so every day.
Indeed, multitasking is no longer the domain of the fantasy football-playing males; it is now commonplace among most demographics the study found—in fact more women (77 percent) claim to do so than men (73 percent). The average multitasker spends over 2.5 hours per week using the Web and TV at the same time, and the total time spent multitasking has surged by 19 percent over the past year, says Nielsen.
On behalf of Yahoo, Nielsen surveyed 3,417 individuals in total, including 490 folks who are part of the company’s ‘Convergence Panel.’ Among the convergence-inclined, for 54 percent of them, the Web draws more of their attention than TV does while multitasking. Contrastly, 30 percent of respondents claim to be able to focus on both media equally, while 16 percent said their gaze is typically more fixated on TV.
Interestingly, even as so many TV networks encourage fans to log onto their Web sites to further immerse themselves in specific shows’ online content, most Web/TV multitaskers are surfing for completely unrelated material (like checking email or Facebook). According to the survey, just 7 of respondents say their report online consumption is frequently related to the TV show or ad they are watching while multitasking.
However, there is good news for networks that put big money into original programming, like high priced scripted comedies and dramas. Frequent multitaskers tend to both watch TV and surf the Web during news and sports programming, not their favorite crime procedural.
Per Nielsen, close to 25 percent of sports viewers also log onto the Web at the same time in a given week. Comparably, just 14 percent of drama viewers do so, and only 7 percent of comedy viewers claim to go online while watching TV.